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Magical Beans Mosaic

This magical bean mosaic is a wonderful activity for kids and adults to do together.




  • Pencil
  • Canvas boards
  • Small paintbrush
  • Craft glue
  • Dried beans
  • Ruler


  1. Step 1

    Start by drawing a pattern in pencil on your canvas board. You can create geometric designs, a still life, or even a portrait in dried beans -- think of it as a color-by-numbers painting.

  2. Step 2

    "Paint" a thin layer of glue in one area of your pattern, and sprinkle the area with colorful beans. Use a single color in each area.

  3. Step 3

    Use the ruler to tidy up the edges of the beans before moving on to the next area.

  4. Step 4

    Repeat steps 1 through 3 until the board is covered. Let dry for 1 hour.

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008



Reviews (10)

  • LisaMills1972 29 May, 2012

    This is a great idea, I have never seen it before. I would enjoy this as well as my son. I love mosaics but can't be bothered with it all as it's a bit fiddly. but this is simple

  • hnanzetta 7 Jul, 2011

    When I used to do this bean mosaic with my 3rd graders, we sprayed the finished project with clear acrylic spray to seal it and make it shine. We discovered that some mice at school found and enjoyed some of the beans in our containers during the time we worked on them.

  • cegeiger 8 Jul, 2010

    Bean project (preschool)
    I just realised that I should have submitted Parts 1-4 of this Comment in the reverse order. Scroll down to Part 1 and proceed to the next parts by scrolling up. Sorry about that. Enjoy.

  • cegeiger 8 Jul, 2010

    Part 4 of 4: Bean project (preschool)
    Have child paint back of each bean shape with glue and paste onto canvas matching the bean shapes to the tracings.
    Allow to dry completely. Have child sign canvas.
    To hang, attach rope, yarn or ribbon to back of canvas with strong tape e.g. duct tape or paciking tape.

  • cegeiger 8 Jul, 2010

    Part 3 of 4: Bean project (preschool)
    Place the cutouts on a sheet of foil to prevent sticking.
    Have children paint the front of each shape with glue and cover with one kind of bean.
    Coat beans with glue to seal and prevent mold. (Adult should do this.)
    Allow to dry completely.

  • cegeiger 8 Jul, 2010

    Part 2 of 4: Bean project (preschool)
    Draw 3" to 4" basic shapes (circles, squares, etc.) on white cardboard. Cut out.
    Have child arrange shapes on the canvas in a pleasing design.
    Adult to trace shapes with a pencil, maintaining design.
    Remove the cutouts and set the canvas aside.

  • cegeiger 8 Jul, 2010

    Part 1 of 4: Bean project (preschool)
    Here is a modification for very young artists... I did this with my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter.

    NOTE: I had to split these directions into several comments because I had too many characters. The Comments are numbered.

  • dovecanyon 11 Jul, 2008

    I did a similar craft with my Cub Scouts last year. We used the beans, plus small pebbles, sand and glass beads. Some of the projects were really intricate and all of them were amazing. This doesn't have to be done all in one sitting. You can make it as simple or as complicated as determined by your child's skill level. huneebee1976 is right, coat with clear-drying glue or spray with clear paint!

  • huneebee1976 29 Jun, 2008

    We did something similar in Girl Scouts years ago. Unfortunately ours got infested with bugs. Be sure to give the beans a good layer of glue over the top. This will keep bugs away.

  • MomofSami 8 Apr, 2008

    Can you post a template for the horse design used on the show??? Thanks